For those so inclined, the televising of live sporting events has provided some relief from the limitations we find ourselves living under, even as we in New York State cannot attend the events in person. There is only so much binge watching of dramas and sit-coms that a person can handle.
My wife Sophia and I got to see an exhibition baseball game in Florida (Astros versus Nationals) in late February before things started shutting down. That seems like ten years ago.
Major league baseball, however, did come to Buffalo this year for the first time in what, 105 years? It was interesting to see some of the Blue Jays games televised from Sahlen Field. For you Yankee fans, your heroes were playing and temporarily residing right here in downtown Buffalo! Go Jays!
Baseball has long been an interest of my, dating back to the games I attended with my dad at Offermann Stadium. Note to Steve Cichon: have you done a throwback Tuesday concerning that old field?
While I did not see any in-person regular season baseball games this year, my two-dimensional cardboard cutout (KenK) did, positioned in a great seat at Sahlen Field. Seen here, KenK attended all 26 Blue Jays home games in Buffalo, his favorite being the shellacking that the Jays gave the Yankees on September 7th. At the end of the season he traveled to Canada for a few days and then last week wound up on my front porch. I don’t know how he got through customs twice, but he is now safely home.
What will happen with baseball in 2021 is still anyone’s guess. Juggled scheduled, fewer games, few fans in the stands are likely. The fate of minor league baseball is even more muddled.
The Sabres season ended early, which was probably just as well. I don’t follow the team closely enough to comment in any way about their draft selections, signings or other personnel moves so we’ll see what it all brings when the next season starts. It seems strange how the Pegula football franchise is well managed and performing well while the hockey team seems to have trouble navigating revolving doors.
The tentative start of the NHL’s next season is early January; emphasis on the word tentative. The league did an incredible job with their playoff bubble arrangements but that won’t work for a season that is going back to home cities. Another big complication is that there are seven franchises in Canada that will have to temporarily form their own division. So, we’ll see.
The NBA also did well with their Disneyworld bubble end-of-season and playoffs and they are now working on a home-city schedule that will probably start before Christmas. Traveling, sequestering and playing a full season will present difficulties for all the leagues until COVID testing is further refined and the distribution of vaccines starts to kick in. Wondering: where do professional sports teams stand in the pecking order of vaccine distribution?
College sports, particularly football, have had serious scheduling problems as large numbers of players and staffs on some teams have contracted the virus and some games have had to be cancelled or postponed. That doesn’t seem like a particularly surprising development considering infection rates on some campuses.
And then there is the NFL. With a couple of postponements and schedule adjustments, two of which affected the Bills, the season is nearly two-thirds complete and they are still marshaling on.
The Bills have had a very good run thus far. The end-of-the-game loss to Arizona was as much a fluke as anything. At 7 wins and 3 losses at the bye week they have a good shot at the division title, although Miami and New England are continuing to breathe down their necks. The team has a good shot at an 11-5 or 10-6 finish and a playoff appearance. The challenge this year will be getting past the first round.
Wishing you and your family the best Thanksgiving that is possible in 2020. Stay safe. As they say on CBS, stay positive; test negative.